Authors: Adam Burns & David Tran
The Consumer Electronics Show is one event that every gadget geek religiously marks on their calendars. The event brings small innovators and huge technology leaders together to showcase the year’s most innovative and unique tech, but more importantly, CES often acts as the catapult for technology trends in the year to come.
Being at CES is a great way for us to stay on the cusp of emerging trends and help us determine which products we should consider adding to our line-up. We know that you expect to see the most popular and innovative new products at TELUS and we work tirelessly to deliver.
While there are many hot new products to highlight, we want to focus on the top five trends that caught our attention at this year’s CES:
Connected Homes – Smart Everything! The future of home automation has arrived.
What does a ‘Smart Home’ look like? Well, exactly like your house right now, but with a number of connected devices hidden in plain sight, working together seamlessly with your smartphone or tablet to make day-to-day tasks easier.
The number of Smart Home solutions on demo at CES 2015 highlighted how close we are to easy and inexpensive home automation. Smart fridges, dishwashers and door locks are just the beginning. Take a look at the Roost smart battery that allows your smoke detector to tell you when it needs a fresh set. Or Parrot’s Flower Power, a sensor that gives your plants a voice by sending you notifications when they could use some attention.
VR Technology – Escape into a virtual space
Another category that garnered a lot of attention at this CES this year was Virtual Reality. Introduced in the 1970s, VR is not a new concept, but this is the first time that we are seeing real world applications that are easily accessible and affordable to the average consumer.
Utilizing tracking sensors and head mounted displays, VR units from Sony, Razer and Oculus Rift all promise gamers an immersive experiences in artificial environments. Samsung’s Gear VR actually allows Note 4 owners to dip into virtual reality by using their smartphone as the actual processing and display power for this innovative accessory.
Smart Cars – Self-driving and connected cars are closer than you think.
The automotive industry delivered a number of concepts that some would argue are straight out of the Jetsons. Teaming up with tech giants like NVIDIA, car manufactures including BMW, Mercedes and Audi all demonstrated what self-driving cars could look like. Although still very conceptual, we’re sure these advancements will lead to trickle-down technology like collision avoidance and parking assistance.
A little closer to public availability, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto had a presence as well. Both are designed to make the conversation between your vehicle and your smartphone seamless. You can expect these software options to show up in a few 2015 models similar to what we saw from Hyundai as well as aftermarket devices from manufacturers like Parrot, JVC Kenwood and Pioneer.
4k UHD – Manufacturers are standing behind the Ultra High Definition Revolution
The Ultra High Definition TV revolution is in full swing. Next-generation UHD panels were abundant on the CES floor this year. On the forefront of this category are the tech giants that you would expect. Samsung, Sony and LG all had marvelous 4k displays on demo, all of which made significant improvements over the last generation of UHD panels. Better colour saturation, better motion and improved 4k up-scaling are just a few things to expect from this year’s 4k line-up.
Wearables – Not just for geeks! Next gen smart gear matures with style.
Easily the hottest category at last year’s CES, their popularity continued at CES 2015. There’s no doubt that wearables are starting to evolve into devices that are not only functional, but look phenomenal as well.
Aimed at keeping you in informed and in shape, fitness trackers and smartwatches in particular will still be the most sought after wearable devices this year. Devices like Withing’s Activate Pop and Misfit’s Swarovski Shine are packed with activity sensors and low-power Bluetooth functionality while dropping digital displays in favour of style.
Wearbles extend far beyond wrist-worn gadgets. On the floor at this year’s CES, innovators further demonstrated the potential of wearable technology by adding feature-rich experiences to more of our everyday gear. For instance, Senoria’s smart socks are ready to track your running technique; Jin Meme’s smart glasses can stay on top of your posture and eye fatigue while Quell’s over-the-counter medical device is ready to soothe your chronic pain with electrical nerve stimulation.
CES 2015 was an exciting showcase of innovative, new products and we’re eager to see how these five leading trends influence our everyday technology in the near feature.